The term "lost classic" is applied liberally and often erroneously to unreleased recordings that resurface years later in a maelstrom of hype. However, for the forgotten mod rock also-rans the Action, the term is not only justified, it is painfully bittersweet. On par with such classics of the era as The Who Sell Out or Ogden's Nut Gone Flake but more focused than either, the Action's Rolled Gold goes beyond "lost classic" – it is the influential masterpiece no one was ever allowed to hear. Despite being signed to Beatles producer George Martin's AIR label and benefiting from a strong club following, the Action never scored a chart hit. By the time they recorded these demo tracks in 1967, the band had grown weary of the musically limited mod scene, which was on its last legs. Guitarist Pete Watson had been replaced by Martin Stone, and the band had developed a more mature sound, one only hinted at on such previous cuts as "Twenty-Fourth Hour".
After her tough blues and R&B records in the early years of the 21st century – 2003's Let's Roll and 2004's Blues to the Bone – Etta James throws a quiet storm changeup. All the Way's 11 tracks are pop songs – indeed, a few are standards – written between the 1930s and the 1990s. James song choices are curious. The Great American Songbook tunes include the title track (written by Samuel Kahn and Jimmy Van Heusen), Leonard Bernstein's and Stephen Sondheim's "Somewhere" from West Side Story, and even Bob Telson's "Calling You" from the score to the 1987 film Baghdad Cafe – it's been recorded by everyone from Barbra Streisand and Celine Dion to Jeff Buckley and Gal Costa…
Three and a half decades after Diamanda Galás’ first recordings as a solo vocalist, she still talks about her singing as an act of violence. Musing to Rolling Stone about her performance of the folk standard “O Death”—versions of which are included on both of her new records, All the Way and At Saint Thomas the Apostle Harlem—she describes it as a cycle of destruction. “You keep breaking it and breaking it and breaking it and desiccating it and putting it back together until it becomes a new life form,” she says. “And then you rip it apart again.” It’s an accurate description of that solo piano piece—which traffics in the California-born composer’s longheld affinities for bebop, blues, and stately morbidity—but it’s also a handy summation of the harrowing work Galás has made for her whole career.
Among the highest selling artists of all time, Rod Stewart is known for his timeless charismatic style and rich, raspy vocals. Following on from The Jeff Beck Group and The Faces,Stewart embarked on a successful solo career. This collection contains some of his greatest solo hits to date, including the likes of 'Maggie May, 'Young Turks' and 'Handbags And Gladrags'. A previously unreleased track, recorded in 1998 and entitled 'Two Shades Of Blue'. 32 tracks in all.